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Trail Boss
11-15-2005, 06:28 PM
First Ride of the Central TX KLR 650 Riders group


We recently began organizing the KLR riders in Central Texas in order to arrange group rides, conduct tech days, and get together for other activities. We set ourselves up as a google group (Central TX KLR 650 riders) and Saturday, Nov. 12th was our first organized ride as a group (edit - For anyone who may be interested there is now a Central Texs DS riders forum in the special interests section of this web site). Though rain threatened during the morning, it turned out to be a very pleasant weather day in the Central Texas hill country and when I finally arrived back home this evening I had traveled 257 miles today. This was a bit further than we had originally intended to ride, but I’m not complaining – I had a great time. I thought I would share today’s trip and some of the pictures I took. Hope you enjoy them.

A total of nine of us rode today. I had taken the initiative to organize this ride and since I live in southwest Austin I chose as our meeting place the most common motorcycle meeting place on this side of town – the famous “Y” in Oak Hill. 8 of us met here, and our 9th rider, Ron, met us about 30 minutes up the road.

As this was our first ride together, most of us didn't know most of us. We started off with introductions all around, so I will do the same with my trip report.

Robert has a very interesting camo paint job on his ’88. Robert actually has 2 KLRs, both painted the same camo scheme. Robert was only able to ride a few miles with us before he had to head back home – his wife had made plans for them and he didn’t want to disappoint her.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010001.jpg

Earlier this week I was driving home after work and I spotted a fellow riding a KLR going in the same direction as me. Traffic wasn’t too tight and I was able to finally catch up with him. Once I pulled alongside of him I honked my horn to get his attention and then gave him a big “thumbs up” signal. He was wearing an old-school helmet, the open face kind, with a big clear face shield. He smiled, waved and then traffic separated us and we each went our own ways. At the time I wished that I had some way to let him know about our group and see if he was interested in riding with us. Surprise, surprise, but who should show up this morning in the same, easily recognized, old-school white open face helmet? Turns out his name is Randy and he had already joined our group.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010002.jpg

I met Billy at a convenience store in Dripping Springs a couple of weeks ago. I was on a ride with my brother-in-law and we were stopped for a soda when Billy pulled up on his “ready for a trip to Moab at anytime” KLR. Billy’s enthusiasm for Moab has got me to thinking that Moab needs to be moved much higher on my “must ride” list.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010003.jpg

Marko has a sweet lime green ride. Today was his first foray in the dirt and he acquitted himself quite well while giving his KLR its first taste of dirt.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010004.jpg

Terry and Steve trailered the bikes up from Houston last night so they could ride with us today. It was the first time either of them had ridden in the Hill Country. If you’ve ever been to South Texas you know it is pancake flat. The only elevation changes are the highway overpasses. No kidding. So Steve and Terry were in motorcycle heaven today with all the hills, scenery, and elevation changes. I suspect that today probably hooked them on riding here more often.

Terry has a really nice ’05 KTM 950 Adventure. I couldn’t believe it when late in the day he let me ride it. Dang, that’s a great bike. Thanks, Terry!
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010005.jpg

Steve has a sweet lime green ride too. He picked it up in September, so he doesn’t have much time on this bike yet.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010006.jpg

Here's Ken. Note his draggin' jeans. Ken tells me they are kevlar reinforced and padded. If you like to ride in jeans, these look like a darn good choice and offer much more protection than a regular pair of Levis.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010009.jpg

Ron joined us at our stop at the ghost town Cypress Mill post office. Ron has 175 acres of ranch land and bought his daughter a dirt bike to ride around the place. A little while later he decided he needed a bike too so he could ride with her. The KLR fit his needs perfectly. He says the daughter gave up dirt bikes but he kept the KLR and apparently he rides quite a bit because he sure seemed to know the roads in the area very well. He ran sweeper for most of the rest of the day and I’m pleased to say that under his watchful eye we didn’t lose a single person today. Thanks Ron.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010007.jpg

Okay, now that the intros are out of the way, here are some of the details of today's ride.

A quick ride north on 71 from the “Y” and we arrived at Hamilton Pool Road. This road is a nice, sweeping road that is popular with motorcyclists of all types. After enjoying the twists and turns we hung a left on CR 301 at Cypress Mill, where we met up with Ron. There is a sign that says "pavement ends" as you turn onto CR 301, but it's not true. Unfortunately, the road has been paved all the way through now. It's a nice road, mind you, just no dirt.

You can see the old Cypress Mill post office and general store in the background.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010008.jpg

These old gas pumps at the Cypress Mill post office and gas station have been out of service a day or two. Unleaded was marked at 66 cents and the high octane stuff was 69 cents. How long has it been since you paid 66 cents for a gallon of gas?
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010010.jpg

After negotiating some other paved but still fun to ride hill country roads, we finally reached the dirt portion of our journey. Parts of Althus Davis road, country road (CR) 309, and CR 315 are all graded dirt/rock roads. Miles and miles of graded dirt roads. I say this because public graded dirt roads are a increasingly scarce thing here in Central Texas. The vast majority have been paved now, so it’s becoming much tougher to find ones to ride on. There are lots and lots of dirt roads on private property, but few public ones remain.

CR 315 crosses Sandy Creek twice. Sandy Creek is exactly as the name implies – sandy. It’s a really wide creek that is dry except following rain. The road surface crossing the creek is loose sand, dirt, and rock. Prior to crossing we took a much needed break, as we had been riding for about 1.5 hours non-stop to reach this point.

My KLR in front of the warning sign at the first creek crossing.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010011.jpg

The group taking a break prior to crossing Sandy Creek for the first time.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010012.jpg

I decided to get some action shots of each member crossing the creek. I was hoping that no one would fall, but if one of us would have fallen the camera would have caught all the action. As it turned out we all successfully negotiated both creek crossings.

My KLR looking back on the creek crossing. I know the warning sign said a 4 wheel drive was needed, but the truth is you don't need a 4 wheel drive if you've got a KLR. :-)
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010013.jpg

Billy crossing.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010014.jpg

Randy and his old-school helmet making easy work of the crossing.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010015.jpg

Steve’s "2 month old and never been dropped" KLR earning its keep.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010016.jpg

Terry and his lone KTM making the Austrians proud.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010017.jpg

Ken making it look easy.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010018.jpg

Just prior to the pic Marko got his bike a little sideways and was throwing some roost with his back tire, but everything was settled down by the time I snapped this pic.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010019.jpg

Ron pulling sweep, looking as natural as can be on this type of terrain.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010020.jpg

The group re-assembled after crossing the creek, none the worse for the wear.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010021.jpg

The next item of business was lunch. We negotiated another mile or two of dirt on CR 315 and then made a bee-line for Llano, searching for food. We reached Llano, TX after having been on the road for 3 hours, with about 1.5 hours of that being dirt. All that riding makes a man hungry, so the world famous Coopers BBQ was just the ticket. Despite arriving at 1 p.m. there was a long line of folks waiting to eat. Somehow our group managed to behave itself until it was our time to order and eat.

From left to right – Billy in the green hat, Ken, Steve, Terry in the Styx t-shirt (wonder how long he’s had a Styx t-shirt? Are they still a group?), and Marko holding the helmet.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010022.jpg

If you haven’t eaten at Cooper’s Old Time BBQ in Llano yet just know that it’s worth the trip. Their peach cobbler is good enough to write home about.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010023.jpg

I didn’t get to the top of the food chain just to become a vegetarian.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010024.jpg

The way Coopers works is they cook all the meat on that open pit you see in the picture. Once it's your turn, you indicate to the man what meats you want and how much of it that you want. He cuts off any pieces you want and puts it on one of those red trays you see in the foreground of the picture. If you want him to, he will dip the meat in their rub sauce in the big pan you see in the lower right corner of the picture. Once you have your meat you take it inside where it is cut up into slices for you. Select your sides, get the drink of your choice, pay your bill, grab a seat and enjoy.

After lunch, our journey of discovery and adventure continued. We decided to alter our route and try to go cross country on a small little CR indicated on the map. None of us had been on this road before and one thing about the map is that while the road may be there (or may not), it might also have a locked gate on it. Some (many?) of the roads shown on the map start off as CR but then turn into private roads that have locked gates. There is no way to tell in advance which roads this is true for and which are CRs the entire way through.

This CR crossed a valley and then climbed a nice hill. Here’s the view looking back on the valley we had just crossed.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010025.jpg

Another shot, same view.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010026.jpg

Another shot, same valley. Billy telling me to hurry up and take the picture.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c178/rgibbens/First%20Ride%20Central%20TX%20KLR%20Riders%2011%20 12%202005/P1010027.jpg

As it turned out, this CR was one of those that ended at a gate. So we made a u-turn and retraced our tracks all the way back to Llano. From there we ran 29 over to Park Road 4 and Inks Lake. Then it was cross country over to Blanco, on to Lago Vista, and finally a spirited running of the wonderful Lime Creek Road. Unfortunately, that’s it for pictures. After taking the above valley view pictures we rode for another 3 hours and I didn’t take another picture. Sorry. Time was getting late, we were racing the sun to try and get home before dark (missed it by about 30 minutes), so I stepped the pace up and kept us moving briskly from here on out.

All in all, it was a great outing – at least for me. The day was a bit longer than I had originally suggested (the unsuccessful side trip down the locked gate CR added an hour to our trip), so I have to work on time management / route management skills. Even so, I think our ride today was enjoyed by all the participants and I’m looking forward to many more.

sportridertex
11-15-2005, 07:12 PM
I've often wondered , how easy it was to find a place to ride offroad in TEXAS,

Not like we are in Nevada or Arizona...

Squeaky
11-15-2005, 07:15 PM
Looks like a fun day had by all!
I'll be checking in here with the DS crowd, and one day I might even join in on a ride (if y'all will be patient and wait for me a lot, that is)

Trail Boss
11-15-2005, 07:23 PM
sportridertex,

It's not hard to find a place to ride off road in Texas if you are willing to pay. There are few public off-road places to ride in Texas, but there are a number of private facilities that you can pay to ride on.

Trail Boss
11-15-2005, 07:24 PM
squeaky,

We will gladly help you make Wilbur the V-Strom earn his pay on the gravel/dirt roads in Central Texas.

Chris-V65Magna-TX
11-15-2005, 08:37 PM
Great post! Looks like it was a fun trip.

Tourmeister
11-16-2005, 12:49 AM
God!! That lime green hurts my eyes!! :lol: I love the camo job though!

John Bennett
11-16-2005, 08:52 AM
Great report Richard! Great ride! Great pictures!

You guys are making me lust for another KLR. I miss DS riding a lot.

Regarding your online group:
A few years ago I started a Yahoo email list for Lufkin area riders. I typed up a page in Word containing a table of business card sized cells. Each cell included the URL to the group, plus a simple message "Ride with local riders! Everyone welcome!"

I photocopied these on yellow paper and cut them into business card sized slips of paper. I kept a small rubber-banded bundle of these in my tank bag. I handed them out to riders I met in parking lots, and put them on parked bikes I encountered.

I picked up many good group members that way. Cheap. Effective. Easy.

Tourmeister
11-16-2005, 02:04 PM
John,

:tab That is basically what I did for TWT. Printed up my own cards and started handing them out to everyone I met. I used to chase bikes down and flag them over :lol: Drove Beth nuts. Met a lot of great people that way though :mrgreen:

Trail Boss
11-16-2005, 04:11 PM
John,

Great idea. Thank you.

texxter
11-16-2005, 07:32 PM
Great pics and report, thanks for sharing!

I love my ST but I miss my KLR! Whatever happened to my plans to drive it down to Batopilas, MX???

:tears: :tears:

Trail Boss
11-16-2005, 07:55 PM
texxter,

Thanks for the comments.

I don't know what happened to your plans to drive your KLR to Batopilas, but I can tell you I bought my KLR for the specific purpose of doing just that - riding it to Batopilas.

Batopilas in 2006 or Bust!

texxter
11-16-2005, 08:58 PM
texxter,

Thanks for the comments.

I don't know what happened to your plans to drive your KLR to Batopilas, but I can tell you I bought my KLR for the specific purpose of doing just that - riding it to Batopilas.

Batopilas in 2006 or Bust!

I ended up selling my beautiful '99 KLR to a guy in Austin and bought a VFR, which I loved too... I wish I could have kept every bike I ever had, I missed them all. :roll:

Batopilas should be a wonderful trip. Make sure you read all the requirements to get into Mexico with a vehicle, it's tricky. My dream is to go to Patagonia on two wheels... Will have to wait for retirement for that... but it's not too far out! Have fun

hond330
11-17-2005, 09:45 AM
check out and get in touch with Backroads Touring Kansas website for ideas on how to organize ur ds rides. there is a whole group in kansas that does this stuff and they have a lot of KLR's represented. Roger Baugh is the guy who runs the website and he would be very helpful with tips and ideas..

i used to ride with BTK till i moved to Montana. now i need to find a group up here to ride m KLR offroad...... but i will have to wait till winter is over...

dirt bomb
11-17-2005, 04:11 PM
richard enjoyed pics from klr ride i have 05 klr would like to hook up with you guys next time.this past march i went with 11 other guys [dirty dozen] to batopilas,had a great time no problems. in august went to alaska with 5 other guys.been a good year! i'm new to this fourm stuff,and my typing [one finger]is very slow. i live in dfw area. keep me posted dirt bomb

STCPO
11-17-2005, 04:51 PM
texxter,

Thanks for the comments.

I don't know what happened to your plans to drive your KLR to Batopilas, but I can tell you I bought my KLR for the specific purpose of doing just that - riding it to Batopilas.

Batopilas in 2006 or Bust!

Tell us when you plan to do this. I just might be interested in tagging along.

Pete

Trail Boss
11-17-2005, 06:12 PM
dirtbomb,

You've done 2 of my "must rides" - Batopilas and Alaska.

I'll be sure to post here the next local ride I organize.

Trail Boss
11-17-2005, 06:14 PM
txcpl,

I haven't set a definitive date yet. My two windows of opportunity are the last week of March (my first choice but a bad time to take a vacation from my job) and Thanksgiving (my second choice but the easiest time for me to take vacation).

STCPO
11-17-2005, 06:23 PM
txcpl,

I haven't set a definitive date yet. My two windows of opportunity are the last week of March (my first choice but a bad time to take a vacation from my job) and Thanksgiving (my second choice but the easiest time for me to take vacation).


Either way sounds good. We'll keep in touch. I'm thinking maybe a DS ride to Big Bend after the new year may be needed to keep the skills honed.

Pete

Trail Boss
11-17-2005, 06:30 PM
Pete,

I'm planning a trip to Big Bend for Dec 23-26 for some DS riding. I haven't advertised it as an organized ride (I didn't think many would be interested in spending Christmas Day riding the River Road) and haven't set up any logistics (hotels reservations, etc). But, if one or two other folks want to join us (there are 3 of us doing this ride) it's okay with me.

Hotboot
11-17-2005, 07:35 PM
Looks like fun. Thanks for fueling the DS fever I have.
Hellooooo Santa

Ron T
11-24-2005, 08:38 AM
Richard,
Enjoyed reading about the ride and followed you on my Roads of Texas map until you mentioned after leaving Park rd 4 at Inks Lake you went cross country to Blanco, on to Lago Vista and then Lime Creek Rd. What road did you take to get to Blanco then way back up to Lago Vista. Where is Lime Creek Rd.

I just got my 06 KLR and would like to join ya'll sometime on your rides. I live in Baytown, but have a place in Wimberely. Can't wait to get mine broken in a little.

Ron

Trail Boss
11-24-2005, 09:34 AM
Ron,

From Park Road 4 we went east on CR 116 (Hoover's Valley Road). After a few initial twisties it turned into a fairly straight run into Burnet. (I made an error when I wrote Blanco - I meant Burnet but wrote Blanco).

In Burnet, we headed south on CR 330, made a right on CR 335, then turned left (south) on CR 340, and finally turned left on CR 341 to 1431. CR 341 is especially scenic as it runs down the spine of a ridge and then eventually dropping down into a beautiful valley.

We headed east on 1431 towards Lago Vista. If time had permitted, we would have turned left (north) onto 1174 headed toward Bertram. After several miles on 1174 we would have made a right onto Cow Creek Road and followed it back to 1431. Cow Creek Road is a superb road that really shouldn't be missed.

Once back on 1431 continue east beyond Lago Vista, Jonestown, and almost to Cedar Park. Just before coming into Cedar Park, at a traffic light, turn right onto Lime Creek Road (it is marked with a road sign). Just a short distance down Lime Creek Road the road becomes a divided 2 lane road, due to a recent upgrade of the road. You will need to make a right turn to continue on Lime Creek Road since the upgraded section of road continues into a newly developed sub-division. From this turn you will enjoy miles of absolutely wonderful twists and turns. Lime Creek Road is the most popular sport bike twisty road in the area for a good reason.

When Lime Creek Road deadends, make a left. A few miles further you will need to make a right in order to get over to Hwy 620, but I don't know the name of the road. If you miss the turn Lime Creek Road will take you into Cedar Park.

Sleepy Weasel
12-05-2005, 03:52 PM
I wish you KLR guys would just keep it to yourself... I'm trying to stay happy with my 250cc's and 2.3 gallons of gas.

:moon:

Sleepy Weasel
12-27-2005, 07:08 PM
I wish you KLR guys would just keep it to yourself... I'm trying to stay happy with my 250cc's and 2.3 gallons of gas.

:moon:


That was a joke... keep it comin' would ya?

Trail Boss
12-30-2005, 08:09 AM
Sleepy,

I just got back from DS riding in Big Bend. I had a buddy join me for 1 day on a Super Sherpa. We ran Old Maverick Road and then the unimproved River Road in Big Bend National Park on that day. Then we ran paved roads strarting from the east side of the park all the way to the west side of the park and out to Terlingua, for a total of about 8 hours and 145 miles. That little Super Sherpa seemed to be perfect for just such an outing. I'm a better off-road rider than my buddy, but I couldn't shake him off my tail the entire day. The Super Sherpa may not be the best choice for high speed paved road riding, but it certainly shines on the roughter stuff.

Tourmeister
12-30-2005, 09:42 AM
Sooo.... are you working on a BB report? ;-)

Trail Boss
12-30-2005, 10:51 AM
Yes I am. This one will take a while to write and I hope to have it done within a week.

Sleepy Weasel
12-30-2005, 02:31 PM
Someday I will go there and be their King

Is that from Snowrider?

Trail Boss
12-30-2005, 02:39 PM
Sleepy,

I'm not sure. It was a sentence in a ride report on ADV Rider.

How much for your Super Sherpa?

Sleepy Weasel
12-30-2005, 08:34 PM
Sleepy,

I'm not sure. It was a sentence in a ride report on ADV Rider.

How much for your Super Sherpa?

I just thought it sounded like it must be a quote, and the first google hit (of 2) was Snowrider's Alaska ride thread on advrider.

So I'll call that a yes.

How much did I pay, or how much would it take to pry it out of my garage?

Trail Boss
12-30-2005, 08:38 PM
How much to pry it out of your garage?

Sleepy Weasel
01-02-2006, 11:04 AM
How much to pry it out of your garage?

You know, if I'd seen that question before yesterday's ride, I would have told you there's no way I'm ready to sell the Sherpa yet. Today I'm not so sure. The DR handled everything yesterday remarkably well, despits it's extra weight, and my lack of experience. I think I have to see first if my dad may want it, though. Let me get back to you on that.

Side note... If I decide I'm ready to let it go, are you also interested in a set of Happy Trails racks for it.

Trail Boss
01-03-2006, 01:02 PM
Sleepy,

My wife is thinking she might like a Super Sherpa, but is undecided right now. I've never priced one and was wondering what a 3-4 year old one would go for.

Sleepy Weasel
01-03-2006, 04:05 PM
I paid about $2k for this one a couple of months ago, and the previous owner also threw in the high fender off of his KLR650. It was in the same pea soup green as the Sherpa, and I liked it because it looked "more like a dirt bike."

I figured if I was going to sell it, I'd ask about the same $2k and throw in the Happy Trails racks, both tail and side.

I managed to wake dad up and talk about it a little. He's interested in it for right now, so I'm going to hang onto it, but if he chickens out of taking the MSF course, I can let you know.

Likewise, if you and your wife end up in the Dallas area, let me know & I'll meet up with you so she can test ride one if she hasn't already. Seat height on it is a little taller than the Yamaha XT225, but lower than the DR650.